by April Salzano
We had been in your bed for hours after
you asked me where I saw myself
in a few years. Time slipped
by, yellowed at the edges like dead bugs
on your window sill before I answered.
What followed: questions, answers, clarifications,
all necessary evils in the dark. Yours
was a drunken coma by the time I finished
beating dead horses to death.
You lay drained from gnawing your own leg off
and dreamed I shot you between the eyes
that night. I turned linguistic corners in the dark,
bumping into my own walls,
arguing with myself, my ghosts,
my demons. None of them you. I guess
I must have slept.
Ask me again where I see myself, let's talk
of our future. This is what I do not
envision: you pacing in front of my window,
head turning at every sign of life outside.
There the blinds are closed at dusk
and the traffic
never quiets. I do not see you
suffocating in someone else's
house, repairing my broken fence, replacing
my light bulbs and hot water heater, changing
hair-filled furnace filters. Nor do I see you holding tight
to me each night, embracing the vague
concepts forever or always.
I can't see past this room, or the grey
hour of tomorrow morning
when we will make our love
as the wind throws beer bottles and spent brass
from your front porch, left from hours
of target practice the day before, our shots
distant and expected punctuation to the next
nearest neighbor, who is miles away.
The sun will shine on your bed
like a spotlight before you can say, there
isnít that better? And I will nod my head no,
and begin to reload.
I can't see past the length of my arms,
holding holding you in place
like a paper bulls-eye,
past where I end and you begin.
Portrait by Francis Raven